Fast forward to the modern era, NASA engineers use this device with thinner lenses for solar energy in space. Scientists have also recently used a Fresnel lens to create a miniature photovoltaic system SolarVolt, which concentrate the sun's rays can be 20 times more effective.
Entech Solar research centers and NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a joint SolarVolt, which uses tiny Fresnel lens only ten thousandths of an inch thick. These lenses allow multicomponent solar panels concentrate solar light energy elements of a much smaller area and produce the same amount of energy as the large area elements.
New technology can reduce the size of solar power or significantly increase the effectiveness of the world's largest solar farms. Revolutionary technology in the manufacture of solar panels won the R & D 100 Award in 2012. Of course, this technology never would have appeared if NASA engineers did not change the allowable size of lenses.
NASA researchers had previously used relatively large Fresnel lens to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic systems mission Deep Space 1 mission. Concentrator Solar Concentrator Arrays System and Refractive Linear Element Technology (SCARLET) were equipped with an array of 720 eight-lens driving the first ever to be used as the primary propulsion system of the spacecraft ion engine.
SolarVolt system is not the only, and the competition is very high, as the solar panels are getting cheaper every day. NASA engineer Mark O'Neill said the publication Physorg, prices fall rapidly, and he believes that multi photovoltaic cells can be quite economical for terrestrial applications in the near future.